Alan Nielsen Weddings & Events. Each milestone with a photograph.


Nine Live Photography News

First day of Schools


Today marked the first day of Desiree going school(for the 3rd time) and Maloreigh entering her last year of High School. Poor Hayden just wants to go to school now.



P90X – Round 1 completed – a preview

Boring title eh?

On Friday I finished my 90 day journey.  P90X from start to finish.  A few hiccups in the middle, but program complete.  I still have to do the fit test, which I’ll be doing tomorrow night.  Here’s a sneak peek at my transformation pics:

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No more hiding – TDDUP – read on….

OK, we can’t hide it anymore….


Yup, Susie and I are reality TV stars now:

We’re gonna have a viewing party in Burlington on that Tuesday night…or maybe again on the Friday….not sure.

Super Hot Susie!!!

Susie Junos

Check out my wife!  Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!

She is on her way right now to the Juno’s with Maloreigh.  Of course I had to take a snapshot of her.  She too has been working her butt off(almost literally) every morning and most evenings.  Spending hours on the treadmill and hitting the weights.  I can’t wait to see where we are both at in 60 days.

Susie Junos

Holy Moly….I haven’t posted in weeks….

So many things have happened since my last post.

I need to review the following books:

David Zisercaptured by the light

Syl ArenaSpeedliter’s Handbook

Zack AriasOneLight Field Guide

Some serious reads in here.  I should probably also talk about Joe McNally’s Hot Shoe Diary, but I did already mention it last year after my trip to Quebec.

I really wish that Syl had made this book about 4 years ago when I started photography.  It is soooo good!  Maybe  a full review once I actually finish the last pages.  Only about 20 to go.

As I mentioned in my last post, I am doing the P90X workout.  It is an incredible workout.  I am now on my recovery week.  Tomorrow is day 1, which is not easy.  It’s the 90 minute Yoga-X workout.  I’ve seen some major improvements already.  I have lost about 15lbs since I started working out in January, but the first 10 came in 2 months and I hit the Plateau.  After 3 weeks on P90X, I’ve lost another 5, but certainly gained some lean muscle as well.  I don’t think I have much more weight to lose as my bodyfat percentage will get lower but I will be gaining lean muscle mass.

I do really recommend this workout for people, but it is not for everyone.  If you can’t get off your butt to workout every day, 6 days a week and you can’t push yourself, then sit this routine out.  You need the personal motivation and direction to watch the videos and put everything you have into them.  If you are just going to take it easy, then save your money.

On the photography front, I did my first official corporate shoot.  It was pretty cool.  Very “grade school” feel.  I had in the executive team and senior management in and out within 1 minute each.  I won’t be posting any pictures, but you may see them on future publications for Anixter Canada.

That’s it for now.

it’s been a while….

Sorry for the lack of updates dear friends and followers. This year started off with so much change it’s been hard to keep up. First up, I decided it’s time to truly change my body and mind. I’m not going all crazy here, just making the right changes. I get up and workout every morning, prep 5 meals a day and still have time to play with my kids and do all the usual house stuff. On Sunday (March 6th), I started the P90X workout.  I’ll be keeping you up to date on how I progress.  It’s a real tough workout and not intended for beginners.

The only downside to working on myself, is that I haven’t been able to keep up with my photography as much as possible.  Which is why for 2011, I’m taking a bit of a step back right now.  I’m working on family shoots and going back to my roots of shooting bands.  I’m focusing on my lighting techniques and will be hanging with the likes of Joe McNally and David Hobby at the Flashbus tour.  I’m reading up on Syl Arena’s amazing body of work, Speedliters handbook.  I’ve read the amazing David Ziser tome, Captured by the light.  I’m also going to be shooting lots of weddings as a second shooter.

That’s it for me now.

Alan you rock!

That’s it for now. They’ve just really impressed me with their customer service! I understand that most companies can’t do what they’ve just done for me, but it’s just the level of service, the promptness of the reply and the overall feeling that they care about their customers. I’ll post more another day…plus I have to talk about the actual product I got.

Check out my twitter feed, or facebook by now(it should have posted it) or my instagram page. You’ll see what product I got.

New Treadmill & Great Grandma Update

Happy Wife, Happy Life right?  Today I went to Canadian Tire and picked up a Horizon CT7.1 model treadmill.  Susie and I managed to bring it into the house and down to the basement without killing ourselves.  I got it setup after about 45 minutes.  It’s pretty cool!  Susie took it for a test run, she did 20 minutes on it and she’s exhausted.  Tomorrow morning will bring me to my first attempt on it, but I won’t be doing too much as tomorrow is a killer upper body workout.

On a completely other front, my grand-ma is in the hospital and has been moved to a palliative care room.  I spent all of Friday and some of yesterday with her.  It is quite sad to see her this way, but after 93 years, she has done some amazing things.  I wish her god speed to finish her journey.  Take care Grams and say hi to Grand-pa for all of us.

This is from our last visit before Christmas:


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I need to post more

If I treated my blog like twitter, I think I’d have too many blog posts…but then again, it would be like 5 posts in 1 day, then not any for a few days.  So maybe it really wouldn’t be a bad thing.  Plus, here I can type WAY more stuff then I can on Twitter.  So maybe it’s not a bad thing.  Maybe by the time I’m done typing on here I’ll have run out of things to say, so it will only end up as 1 post.  Hmmm…things to ponder.

I still haven’t made my new years resolutions.

I’ve been working out every morning and I completely changed my diet.  I know I posted a few recipe ideas, and I’m sure I’ll have a few more soon.  There’s one that I’m working on with Quinoa and Beet Leaves.  Sounds gross on paper, but hopefully it’s bursting with flavor.

what else?  Howard Stern is on Twitter!  That rocks.

Oh… big announcement coming up.  We’re gonna be throwing a party for this announcement too…..TDDUP!

Also….2 new photography packages and some price changes.  I should really announce those now as the wedding season is gearing up.

Also….too many also’s.

PS?  Maybe some PS’s….

…Nine Live Photography wants to shoot bands again this year.  So Local bands give me a shout.  I’ve got a dirty deal for me to shoot your bands.  It’s gonna rock.

Cheat Days on diets?

What happened to my photography blog?  Argh.  I haven’t been picking up the camera outside of work as much as I’d like to because I really need to re-focus on my body.  Meaning Diet and Exercise.  So in the off times of my 9-5 and my 5-9, I’ve been making healthy foods, lots of different salads and spreads, and working out.

Yesterday I really wrestled with the idea of a “Cheat Day” in my diet.  I still did my morning workout, but I was really struggling with the idea of not eating my diet for 1 full day.  I asked the question on twitter if trainers really advocate this practice.  I didn’t get many hits, some I’m hoping to see some replies below.  One article that I came across made me feel pretty good about this idea.  It’s from Tom Venuto, and the article is here.  Basically he says yes.  However, not a cheat day, but a cheat meal.  If you’re truly eating approx 35 meals a week, eating 34 healthy ones and 1 bad one, you’re not doing yourself any damage.   I suggest reading the article so that I don’t miss anything.

Now, I didn’t read this article until last night after I had 2 bad meals…but I don’t think that’s going to throw me off as I haven’t had a “cheat day” in 2 weeks since I started this routine.  I think it’s par for the course.  Now this morning I was back on track with my food and I worked out extra hard.  A few extra pushups and situps, and increased the intensity on the elliptical.  I felt guilty for eating what I did so I wanted to make sure to burn it off.  Of course, now I know that I can push myself that much more, so I can’t really go back to that lesser intensity tomorrow.  I’d just feel bad.

Now it’s time to go outside and shovel that lovely snow that’s been falling overnight, the off to the pool for an afternoon swim!  I think I really feel guilty about that food eh!

Salads, Dieting and shoveling snow

Another batch of Beet Salad, some more Hummus, and a chickpea/bean salad.  Wow, we are off to a crazy dieting start this new year.  I really hope for my own sake that this isn’t just a fad.  I’ve been waking up every morning to work out, about 30 minutes, and trying to eat less/better/portions.  I can’t say it’s working because I had lost about 2 pounds, but then checked yesterday and looks like I’ve gained them back.  Is it possible to have gained 2 pounds of muscle in about 4 days?  Not sure, but I doubt it.  That’s it for tonight, nothing big.  Just wanted to say more than Twitter would allow.

Back to work now.  I forgot how intensive creating photobooks are.

Tablouleh, Hummus, beets and more

Wow, lots of food posts this year eh! Don’t worry, I’ll be getting back to photography on this blog soon.

When I decided to make some tabouleh, I thought, hey 2 cups should be enough for 2 days….HA. 2 cups of dry made about 6 cups when finished. I had originally purchased 1 bunch of parsley, but had to go back and get 2 more just to have enough. So now we have enough tabouleh for a week. Plus I made some hummus and a beet salad. The iphone app for the Food Network is awesome and my favourite chef so far is Michael Smith, that’s where I found the recipe for the Beet Salad(which they seem to have taken down!).  Is it just me or does he not look like John Corbett?

That’s it for today, I guess.  Just playing with the kids and maybe visiting the folks.

Guacamole Rules

It has to be one of the easiest things to make, albeit a little time consuming, but it tastes soooo good.

3 avocados
1 onion
1 tomato
1 bunch of cilantro
juice from 2 limes
chillies to taste
salt to taste

That’s it! Peel the avocados and onions, take the leaves off the cilantro. Throw it all into the food processor and blend. You don’t get any easier than that.

Ok…I’m on a new health kick. yes it’s January and everyone is going to diet and exercise, so am I. I started a little workout this morning at 6:00am. It was really tough…but I’m a big wuss. 5 minutes on the elliptical and I was DONE. I was panting like a dog. A few minutes to recover then a few other exercises and then finished on the bike. Let’s see what tomorrow morning brings. Maybe even some pictures as I’m suppose to be this phenomenal photographer(lol).

Getting ready for 2011

I’m not going to post anything crazy. I just wanted to throw in a quick update. The studio is gonna announce some new wedding packages for 2011, they should blow your socks off. Stay tuned and thanks for following me, even though the last part of the year I didn’t post as much as I would have liked. 2011 should bring some big changes I can’t wait to share.

A little Hayden and Desiree update


This weekend we will be celebrating Desiree’s 5th Birthday.  I can’t wait.  We’re having a little Princess party for her.  All of her friends will be dressing up like princesses too.  Poor little Hayden is upset because he can’t be a princess too.  I told him he could be a prince, but that made him cry.  So I told him he could be a dragon, like in the Paper Bag Princess.  He thought that was alright.  Plus he can breathe fire and fly.  Here’s a little preview of Desiree’s dress from my iPhone.

Also Big Hayden(because we can’t call him baby Hayden anymore) is getting new glasses, here’s a little peek at what’s to come:

Suspicion – Blackbird Studios Fall Fashion Show, Saturday Nov 27th – Hamilton, Ontario

Tonight was the first time that I had the chance to try my hands at a runway shoot.  It was quite the experience and very fast paced.  I didn’t bring the triggers with me, which I know for next time.  Having on camera flash was a little harder as I had to blast it on full.  With some triggers, I could have had it on 1/4 power and had better recycle time to keep up the pace with the models.  Speaking of models, check them out.  They were super hot and really made the clothes shine(literally on some!)

I also got to meet and shoot next to the most awesome Derek Lang of Bagel Hot.  He was rocking the Nikons while I was rocking the Canons.

Here’s just a few of my favourites.  The rest will be posted on the proofing site soon.  Please comment on what you think?  Should I try this again or should I leave it to the other pros?

[seo_thumb_gallery category="Fashion" gallery="Blackbird Studios Suspicion 2010" skin="black" size="small"]

Musical Guests included:

A little about the studio:

BLACKBIRD STUDIOS is Kiki and Buckshot’s latest fashion endeavor! Drawing on years of experience catering to the demands of Rockstars, Rollergirls, Burlesque Artistes, Fashion Misfits and Fashionistas, Kiki and Buckshot were inspired to create their new “BLACKBIRD STUDIOS” line of clothing and accessories.

Private Label Couture, Evening Wear, Outerwear, Bridal and Prom Dresses, Boudoir Intimates, Jewellery and Handbags, Theatrical and Burlesque Stage Wear, PVC/Fetish, Classic Goth, Victorian Velvets, Vintage Reproductions, Rock and Roll Club Wear, Roller Derby Uniforms, Logo Apparel.

Most of the fabrics are exclusive to the “BLACKBIRD STUDIOS” label. They are customized screen prints, limited only by the designers’ imaginations. Fabric designs are often inspired by the dark and romantic. Post punk, Fairy Tales, Gothic Horror, B-Movies, Pulp Fiction, and Torch Songs.

Website update and more from your Burlington Ontario Photographer

Not much to report on today.  Just doing some updates to my website. A cool new iPhone version is being launched as well as a new html site.  They should be up and rocking in the next few days.  Be sure to check them out and let me know what you think.  Also, I’m updating a whole bunch of pictures and styles on my main site, so watch for those.

I can’t wait to show you the latest wedding I shot as well.  I’ve got to present to Latoya and Thomas first and I know they are excited to relive their day through pictures.  They should be up by this weekend.

That’s about all for now.  Just a quick hello.  I figure I tweet enough that I should probably blog a little more as well.

Now for a quick image for ya, because a post doesn’t seem complete without something.

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A word post

No images tonight. Sure there’s a whole arsenal of images in my backlog, but tonight is just a few words about what’s going on.

My parents are in Haiti, they landed on Sunday and that was the last we’ve heard from them. Two of the doctors that are down there with them have started a blog and are both posting every day.  It’s great to hear what they are doing, but it would be nice to hear directly from my parents too!  With all the floods happening this week, and their hotel phone not working, it would be nice to just say hi to them.  Another week and half to go before they head back to Florida to wind down.

On the home front, it’s business as always.  I’ve just picked up an awesome November wedding that I get to shoot again with my buddy Brent.  This will probably be my last wedding for the year, which means I can finish up some of my backlog and start posting blog posts a little more often.  Also, my wife and I are filming a TV show for Network TV.  It’s really crazy and it’s really stirring things up(in a good way).  4 more weeks of filming, then we wait for our show to air.  It’s gonna be crazy and you’re really gonna get a good look into my life, which is really scary!  But Hey, I wanted this blog to tell the story of my life and you’re gonna get the straight goods.  Unfortunately due to contracts we can’t talk about it until it airs.  Susie and I are going to be keeping a diary going and once we can we’ll post the whole experience from our point of view and not those of the editors.  lol.

Take care fan and friends.  It’s editing time!


I’ve been a bad blogger

Balls Falls Photographer

I made a pact to try and really post more…and I’ve posted even less.  Argh!  I don’t know how I’m going to keep you my loyal readers around if I don’t start posting more often!  So I’m going to try again.  I’m knee deep in Wediting right now.  2 weddings to do, almost finished the first, which is the awesome Christine and Mike’s, then Laurie and Tim’s.  I can’t wait to show you what I got.  They were both awesome couples and great families.

Here’s a quick shot of me at work to hold you over:

Balls Falls Photographer

6 reasons why I didn’t post this weekend

No photos or blog posts this weekend! Here’s what happened:
1. It was the long weekend, and I needed a break
2. Saturday was a shopping day for our great BBQ fiesta
3. The bbq’s started at 8:30am and lasted until the guests arrived
4. I can’t post to my blog from my iPhone
5. Monday was clean up day
6. Monday was also spend time with my kids day and try to relax

We had a great time at the BBQ.  Friends and family all showed up.  I tried to reconnect with some old clients as well because I don’t like to just shoot, I like to build relationships with my clients that last forever.  We become friends when the work is over.

Time for Change

Time for Change

Today hit me like a ton of bricks.  Here’s why:

I just found out that I don’t exist and it’s getting worse.  I have to ask myself, What am I doing?  Well, I thought I’ll get a nice flash website, an awesome blog, a smugmug page, a facebook page, a twitter account, and on and on and on.  Why?  Because that’s what all photographers need right?  We need social media to stay current and capture our clients.  Well, I have them all and guess what?  Clients aren’t finding me.  I post to my blog every day, I twitter a lot(not lately thought), I keep updating facebook.  I’m doing everything that I’m “told” to, but I’m not getting the results. My first step was, go to Grader and find out why.  Now, most people wouldn’t want to show how bad they’re doing, but I do.  This is my testament to all the budding photographers out there.

The Website Grade for!

So I turned to my good buddy David Schultz, who is a web guru to find out why.  So he and I went back and forth through email and it came down to the article I posted above.

I have lots of work to do!  Which is now represented in my picture below.  I’m changing.  I’m no longer saying I’m a Wedding Photographer and doing the blah blah blah that everyone says you have to do.  Yes, I love Weddings, I want to shoot YOUR wedding and that’s what I want to do in life, but now I’m going to be really letting you into my world.  My blog is now going to follow my trials and tribulations of  making it as a photographer, 9-5er and father/husband.  It’s going to be a reality show in a blog.  You can help shape this blog.  I want your input and feedback and I’ll be reaching out to you Mr & Mrs Internet.   We have until Dec 31st to turn this thing around.

Time for Change

May 30th 2010 – my 365 – Razoreater


PUNK N’ PUPPETS- A Fundraiser for the making of the Hamityville Spoookies
Doors Pub
Hess Village


AxDxD :

The D-files- :

Razoreater :

April 15th 2010 – my 365 – Horizontal pano

I’m in a panorama mood these days.  I wanted to try a vertical panorama this time, but it was too late to get outside.  Maybe this weekend we’ll try something funky with a vertical.

Your Wedding and special event photographer

Hey world. I’m back! While I have yet to sell my house, all of my renovations are complete and the place looks like a million bucks! If you don’t believe me, check out this video:

Tomorrow is a fresh start again for Nine Live Photography. While we’re not launching a new website or changing directions, we’re just getting the ball rolling again. It’s time to start connecting with new clients. It can be brides, mom’s, dad’s, or anyone. Anyone looking to capture a moment. I met with one of my August brides this weekend and it’s great to touch base. She is so great and I can’t wait to shoot her outdoor wedding. Also, I’m finishing up some pictures for an album, which I can’t wait to deliver to Krista & Mark, my bride and groom from March. I also can’t wait to see how their son Maverick is doing!

So drop me a line and let’s connect!

Alan Nielsen